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Helen Huang, Senior Product Manager, TRUSTe


The DAA released Video OBA guidelines in November 2015, which apply to in-stream video ads (pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll), in-page and in-banner ads. Unlike desktop, the video ad serving industry standards are fragmented leading to more business and technical considerations for companies.

In light of the new video guidelines, although there are significant overlaps with previous desktop and mobile guidelines, here are some key highlights below:

  • Implement the icon where it would least conflict with the video experience, taking into consideration: corner of icon, video coloring, and other embedded calls of action.
  • The icon should not “float” within a video ad.
  • The icon should persist throughout the video ad; But if the user suspends the video ad to engage with an interactive element, the icon doesn’t need to be in the element. However, the icon should remain or re-appear when the user returns to engage with the video ad.
  • If clicking on the icon opens an interstitial, the interstitial should cover less than 50% of the video.
  • While the (optional) interstitial is expanded, the company has the option to continue to play or pause the video ad.
  • Finally, companies may work with publishers to place the icon adjacent to the video and if there are technical implementations with an icon overlay.

Depending on where the company is in the chain of video ad serving and the creative format it has to work with, the company has a range of implementation options including a raw impressions/click pixels, flash component, js component, swf files in AS2 or AS3, or VAST 3.0.

Since many companies are still on VAST 2.0, it’s important to note that the DAA guidelines also recognize this as a difficulty for the industry.

“Given the diversity of video players and formats across the desktop and mobile environments, the DAA recognizes that in some cases serving a clickable Ad Marker is not possible in connection with video ads. However, when serving the Ad Marker is not possible for participating companies, the examples presented in these Guidelines are intended to help such companies deliver a consistent consumer experience.”

1 For example, video ads in VAST 2.0 format do not natively support the inclusion of a clickable Ad Marker.

TRUSTe has seen many businesses approach the implementation differently. Buy-side companies tend to require the icon within their contracts with the video partners they work with. This is aligned with companies pushing others to include the notice where it makes most technical sense while the industry evolves to a standard where the implementation is scalable. Networks that have native ad servers tend to pick one of the technical implementations above and apply them across all their inventory and campaigns.

Even though the industry is working through these technical challenges, video advertising is increasing in popularity within the ecosystem across desktop, mobile and smart tv. The video DAA guidelines remind us that consumer choice needs to be offered in video because notice and choice is important to protecting a user’s privacy regardless of format and platform.

TRUSTe has supported a video OBA solution since 2012 and is able to support all technically possible ways of integrating the icon into a video ad. If you are serving behaviorally targeted video advertising and need assistance in implementing the OBA icon in your video ads, please talk to a TRUSTe representative or contact me for any questions on

To find out more about the new video guidelines and the latest DAA developments register for our webinar “2016 DAA U.S. Update: What Recent Innovations Mean” on Thursday January 21 from 10-11am PT. You can register here.